~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reed's Taco Truck...

...well sorta. It's actually in our kitchen so there's no truck but I do have a truck but it's not a taco truck, it's a Chevy, but I do have a kitchen but "Reed's Taco Kitchen" didn't ring so that's why I used "Truck", but it's not in our kitchen, the truck that is but the tacos are...or were...cause we ate them...the truck is outside. 

So, anyway...tacos. growing up, my Mom would cook tacos by browning hamburger mixed with a taco seasoning packet which was probably 50% salt, she cooked up the tortillas in hot oil in a cast iron pan, shredded cheese, lettuce, chopped onions and hot sauce.  I made these the other day (minus the salt packet) just like Mom did...while far from authentic they tasted great. Maybe because they took me back. Comfort food. I remember staging the fixings for my Mom. We had these weird grey 1/4 circle bowls which if you lined them up they would form a circle. Out came the lazy susan, I placed these bowls around it filled with the fixin's. Real haute cuisine.

Fish tacos have become a regular request around here. They can be made as labor intencive as you want. Homemade pico de gallo or store bought salsa, homemade masa tortillas or not, to guacamole or not to guacamole?

Speaking of which, here is (from what I have heard) an authentic way of making guac...in a "molcajete". A mortar and pestle made of volcanic rock. Apparently by mashing the avocados, cilantro, lime juice and whatever you like in your makes the finished product better. Maybe it does but whatever it does, it's fun.
2 Soft, not too mushy avocados
A hefty dash of chili powder, I prefer ancho which is from a dried poblano chili, a bit darker and more robust than plain ol' chili powder.
Juice of 1/2 lime
About 1 tbl of chopped cilantro
A spoonful of pico de gallo
pinch of kosher salt
Mash...TASTE!...adjust and enjoy.
A whole lot better than the bland store bought stuff.

So from what I have learned, there are two strong sides of the tracks. Batter fried or grilled fish. I would assume grilled is more authentic, it certainly is healthier.  You can season it, choose a wood to give it a smokey flavor, give it a nice char, what have you. Most white fish will do, go high on the price as you like. Certainly halibut would be the top choice for me. Flakey, firm, yummy. Cod or dover sole works well too, although the thinner portions may be a bit tricky on the grill. I have heard catfish is the most authentic. Give it a try!

Have your mise en place ready with cilantro, salsa, guacamole, a squeeze of lime. To raise it up try using queso fresco cheese for a true authentic flair. Our American cheese smothered versions of tacos are far off the authenticity track, so usually this queso fresco...if used at all, is added sparingly.

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